Chinese workers to resume work on hydropower project days after Besham attack

In Local
March 29, 2024

Much to regional rivals’ chagrin, China instructed its workers to resume work on the Tarbela Dam extension project days after five Chinese engineers were killed in the Besham suicide attack.

As per an office circular issued by the Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd, on March 28, “workers and office staff will be back to work after such short time suspension”.

“China will continue to develop bilateral cooperation and promote the second phase of CPEC with high-quality development in collaboration with Pakistan,” said an earlier statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

Reports in Indian media claimed that following the attack a “Chinese company halted civil works and let go of hundreds of workers at a hydropower [plant] in Pakistan”.

However, the office order from the Chinese construction company brought Indian media claims to naught.

Following the attack, the Chinese embassy and consulate generals in Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack.

“Pakistan and China have the determination and ability to make terrorists pay the price for their actions, and any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan cooperation will not succeed,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said.

The clear message from the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson shows that no attempt to sabotage Sino-Pak cooperation will be allowed to succeed.

He also reiterated China’s stance on terrorism. “Terrorism is the common enemy of all human beings, and it is the shared responsibility of the international community to combat terrorism and prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.”

China firmly supports Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, Lin said. China will continue to support Pakistan’s economic development, social development and the improvement of its people’s livelihoods, he added, and it will undertake firm cooperation with Pakistan in various fields to bring benefits to the two peoples.

Separately, Islamabad also said on Thursday that there remains no doubt that the suicide attack in Besham was orchestrated by enemies of Pakistan-China friendship.

“Together, we will resolutely act against all such acts and forces and defeat them,” said FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch.

She further expressed Islamabad’s determination to work with Beijing in ensuring the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in Pakistan.

PM demands probe

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif instructed a thorough joint investigation into the Besham terrorist attack utilising all state resources.

Chairing an emergency meeting following the attack, the prime minister praised the swift response of law enforcement and locals, which saved many lives.

The meeting was attended by the federal ministers, chief of the army staff, chief ministers, chief secretaries and inspector generals of police of respective provinces, a PM Office press release said.

Besham attack

A vehicle-borne suicide bomber targeted a convoy of Chinese engineers in the remote Besham area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday, killing six people.

The Chinese engineers were en route from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu – the district headquarters of the Upper Kohistan district of K-P. Their vehicle was hit by an explosive-laden vehicle, coming from the opposite direction, near Lahore Nala on the Karakoram Highway.





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